Mixologists Share Their Best Cannabis-Infused Cocktails

Mixologists Share Their Best Cannabis-Infused Cocktails

Without cannabis, drinks are basic.

Whether you’re hosting a soiree, brunching with friends, or planning a romantic dinner, these three alluring alcohol and cannabis-infused libations by guest contributors (and epicureans)  Elise McRoberts, Rabib Rafiq, and Jason Eisner will set the tone for the occasion. Since mixing cannabis and alcohol can be synergistically intoxicating, it’s wise to consume responsibly and control your dose. Some recipes call for cannabis-infused liquors and tincture, which can be difficult to find yet simple to make at home. To help, reference this recipe for Green Dragon, break out your Magical Butter machine or pick up a copy of Warren Bobrow’s Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics where you can dive a little deeper into the sea of DIY cannabis tinctures. Now who’s ready for a drink?

Melamine 

Who created it? Rabib Rafiq, The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook recipe contributor and owner of Bistro 63 at the Monkey Bar, a restaurant and a cocktail bar in Amherst, Massachusetts.

What does it taste like? A 21st century take on the gin-based Bijou cocktail — herbaceous and full-flavored with a spicy and ever-so-slightly sweet layer.

Ingredients:
1 oz. cannabis-infused green Chartreuse
1 ½ oz. gran classico bitters (or 25 milliliters Campari)
1 oz. rhum agricole

Directions: “Fill a mixing glass ⅔ full with ice,” says Rafiq. “Pour liquid ingredients over ice and vigorously stir until very cold. Strain mixture into a champagne coupe or martini glass with no garnish.”

Pro Tip: “Mix the Chartreuse and bitters with Ron Zacapa 23 rum (but any high-quality aged rhum agricole, or rum made with sugar, will do). This can be served as a cocktail and it’s a great after-dinner drink; the herbal spirits help ease digestion.”

What can we look forward to? If you love how this beverage turned out and want to try others, this recipe appears in The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook which features more delicious cannabis infused cocktails like Buzzy Bee’s Knees, Dutch Pilot, Cannabis Coconut Mojito, Twentieth of April, Green Rush, and more.

 Sour T-iesel

Who created it? Jason Eisner, Beverage Director at Gracias Madre and Eater.com’s 2015 Bartender of the Year in Los Angeles.

What does it taste like? Balanced with hints of mint, citrus, brine, agave, and cannabis.

Ingredients:
2 oz. tequila blanco
1 oz. organic fresh pressed lime juice
½ oz. organic agave nectar
Pinch of pink sea salt
3 organic mint leaves, no stems
5 drops organic cold pressed CBD oil, extracted from hemp
¾ oz. organic aquafaba
Ceremonial grade matcha, for garnish

Directions: “Place all ingredients (excluding CBD and aquafaba) in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Fine strain into a large vessel (64 oz. pitcher) and add CBD and aquafaba. Using a KitchenAid handheld emulsifier on turbo, emulsify liquid for five seconds. Transfer emulsified liquid back into an empty cocktail shaker and a Hawthorne strainer, then strain liquid into a coupe glass. To create pot leaf topping/garnish, use a stencil and ceremonial grade matcha.”

Pro Tip: Don’t feel like making it? Swing by Gracias Madre in West Hollywood and its OC branch Café Gratitude in Newport Beach and order a round or two for you and your crew.

What can we look forward to? “I have created a company called DOPE Cannabis Cocktails,” says Eisner. “These are 100 percent organic, vegan-friendly and gluten-free RTD canned cocktail mixers infused with a proprietary CBD blend. In 2018, we will also launch our THC line. These canned cocktail mixers do not include alcohol, so the customer can add two ounces of their favorite base spirit, or they can pop one open and enjoy it on its own. The reason we don’t call it a ‘mocktail’ is because a mocktail doesn’t provide an experience. These CBD-infused cocktails deliver an experience, an altered state of consciousness that is meant to completely redefine the way we celebrate. In fact, our tag lines are ‘experience the party, without the hangover’ and ‘Party Clean in 2017.'”


The Mescal Bloody Jane

Who created it? Elise McRoberts, Chief Marketing Officer and Edible Specialist at Kind Courier.

What does it taste like? Rich tomato, smoky mezcal, spice with hints of cumin and horseradish.

Ingredients:
Smoked paprika, pepper, sugar, salt rim
8 oz. organic tomato juice or purée
1 ½ tbs. pickle juice
3-7 dashes of hot sauce, to taste
1 tbs. organic horseradish
1 tbs. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tsp. cumin powder
1-2 oz. Treatwell Wellness Blend cannabis tincture (or similar cannabis tincture)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ oz. mezcal
Celery stalk, for garnish
Lemon or lime wedge, for garnish

Directions: “Add horseradish and other ingredients, excluding mezcal, to a cocktail mixer over ice. Shake vigorously and strain into rimmed glass over ice and mezcal. Garnish with celery stalk, lemon, or lime.”

To prepare smoked paprika and pepper rim: Mix equal parts paprika, pepper, sugar, and salt on a plate and spread evenly. Run a lemon wedge around the glass rim and swirl rim though spice mixture, coating evenly.

Pro Tip: “Bloody Mary’s are great for adding munchies like shrimp, bacon, olives and more for garnish. You can add whatever munchies your heart desires. If your mix is too spicy or salty, you can always tone it down with more tomato juice.”

What can we look forward to? “I love this drink for Saturday and/or Sunday mornings if you need a miracle to get you going after a raging evening,” says McRoberts. “The addition of cannabis tincture is just enough to take the edge off and I believe the cannabinoids aid in restoring my body and mind balance. I used a non-psychoactive tincture in this, but also recommend a nice 1:1 CBD:THC blended tincture if you want to feel a little more of the THC.”

https://www.merryjane.com/culture/mixologists-share-their-best-cannabis-infused-cocktails

10 Cocktail Trends

cocktail on tap
Cocktails on tap require an incredible amount of precision and preparation.

Brian Quinn is an experiential event producer and cocktail writer. He is the cofounder of the Noble Rot, an underground supper club for wine, dubbed “a new form of clandestine drinking” by Tasting Table NYC. He learned the art of craft cocktails from work with the Milk & Honey family, as well as a love for hospitality from renowned Brooklyn oyster house Maison Premiere. Brian has written over 150 articles on cocktails for Food Republic and is also the director of programming for the Taste Talks and Northside festivals.

1. Bars within bars
Don’t call them speakeasies. The veil of secrecy separating two different bar experiences under one roof is simply a means of filtering out those who prefer the utility of a drink versus those who revel in the art. For bars like Los Angeles’s Walker Inn, bartenders are able to offer an omakase cocktail tasting for those who enter via the more accessible Normandie Club’s bar. Walking up a back flight of stairs at San Francisco’s Hawker Fare gets you into the more relaxed Holy Mountain bar setting, where the bar team is able to showcase more experimental drinks. Of course, Grant Achatz’s the Office beneath the Aviary in Chicago did this years ago. The advantage to finding these more intimate, highly curated bars is a more niche drinking experience that you likely won’t find anywhere else.

2. Camera cuisine’s impact on drinking
What’s on the inside still counts, many bartenders know that these days, the most Instagram-friendly drinks on the menu will likely be the biggest sellers. A decade ago, seeing a drink like the multicolored and mint-topped Queens Park Swizzle walk across the room on a tray would incite half the bar to order that drink next. Today, with more drinking options available than ever, a well-festooned drink on Instagram might be a bar’s best asset for finding new customers.

Rich Woods of London’s Duck & Waffle uses this showmanship and his unique style to entice drinkers around the globe by, say, serving a hay old-fashioned with the glass cradled in an actual bowl of hay, or creating edible garnishes, such as a ceviche shot served on top of a cocktail. Thankfully, his drinks are as balanced and brilliant in flavor as they are in appearance. Jane Danger’s now-renowned Shark Eye cocktail at the modern tiki bar Mother of Pearl — bloodied with Peychaud’s Bitters — is another example.

Screen Shot 2016-10-28 at 11.24.42 AM
Crystal-clear milk punches and milk-rinsed cocktails have cropped up at inventive cocktail bars and restaurants.

3. Clarified milk punches
One of the more exciting and delicious techniques that bartenders are now readily using is milk-washing, or clarifying a punch with curdled milk. The process of creating a curdled anything sounds bizarre and ill-advised, but this process dates back to the 1700s and ultimately creates a longer shelf life for the punch. Barman Gareth Howells, formerly of Forrest Point, knows this process well. He combines large batches of fruits, citrus, spices and spirits and macerates them together for several days before adding curdled milk on top. As gravity sets in, the milk proteins, which have attached to the pulpy particles in the mixture, begin to weigh down, ultimately leaving a clear liquid floating on top. Lactic in flavor, this soft and beguiling type of punch is gaining steam for good reason.

4. Dives with damn good drinks
Want a killer Last Word or Paper Plane while listening to Led Zeppelin in a bar that looks like it could have been the set for Tom Cruise singing “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” in Top Gun? Well, you can get that now, too. In their off hours or for post-shift drinks, most bartenders find themselves in no-nonsense, unapologetic vestiges where a beer or shot of whiskey might be your best bet. For bars like Brooklyn’s the Starlight, the glow of red lighting makes you feel as though you just walked into some Midwest tavern in the 1970s, except that some of the best bartenders in the city pick up shifts here and can make you pretty much any drink you want, if they have it behind the bar. No frills necessary.

5. Pour-and-go service
Time is of the essence in bars these days, and many patrons no longer care if a $15 drink was made à la minute. Eager to find solutions for those in need of a quick but excellent drink, many bars are now experimenting with having one or more drinks on tap or pre-bottled. Yours Sincerely in Bushwick — with its Transmit the Box cocktail (shown at top) — embraces this concept across its entire menu, with over 30 drinks on tap. Far from lazy, this requires an incredible amount of precision and preparation behind the scenes but allows for insanely quick pours and lower drink prices during service.

London’s White Lyan turns many heads, with bartenders pouring from a colorful array of prebatched cocktail bottles stored behind the bar, which incidentally also led the bar to have very little wasted ingredients. The drinking experience at these bars does not suffer and, in fact, the effect is often a whole new world of creative cocktails.

6. Thematic menus
Bartenders are spending their time pining over more than just the drinks. Menus now seem to exist in their own theatrical context, with storytelling to support a bar’s original offerings. An incredible amount of work obviously goes into the Dead Rabbit’s menu, which seemingly takes months to research and create, with pages and pages of illustrations, history and cocktail lore. San Francisco’s Trick Dog takes a more playful approach, keeping patrons on their toes by presenting drinks on everything from dog calendars to a Chinese takeout menu to Pantone color swatches.

7. Cleansing drinks: Charcoal and kale
Bartenders love yoga, too, and it seems that cocktails are finally taking a cue from the juicing movement, as more cleansing or healthful ingredients are becoming prevalent. More than just citrus and herbs, drinks with freshly juiced kale or wheatgrass come out bright green and seemingly healthier in appearance. Thankfully, many people now realize that vodka does not have fewer calories, but it does blend well in these cocktails.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, black cocktails colored with a dose of activated charcoal might look like they could filter away your hangover, but no such luck. These deep black drinks, such as Joaquin Simó’s tequila- and mezcal-driven Heart of Darkness cocktail at NYC’s Pouring Ribbons, offer a unique appearance, but the charcoal has little impact on the flavor.

8. Cannabis cocktails
With the growing availability of weed tinctures and oils thanks to loosening regulations, the slow integration of THC into cocktails will likely continue to rise in 2017. The science around being drunk and high at the same time is not entirely clear, though we do know that alcohol can allow for a much quicker absorption of the psychoactive THC by the body. Clearly, it’s an area that needs further investigation, just like knowing the right and wrong way to use liquid nitrogen in a cocktail, which can also have serious effects. A sign of the times: Barman and author Warren Bobrow recently released the first book on this subject, Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics

9781592337347

9. Low-ABV ingenuity
Necessity is the mother of invention for low-ABV cocktails. Bars without full liquor licenses have to continue to push these drinks forward, leading to a rise in everything from legit wine coolers to beer cocktails to aperitif-driven coolers. Not to be left out, bars with full licenses also love these drinks, often adding spirits such as gin or liqueurs as modifiers to a largely wine or beer base in the cocktail. Seeing a Riesling cocktail on a menu might not have made sense until now, but that’s just what Maison Premiere bartender Shae Minnillo does with his Bimini Twist, using Riesling, Linie Aquavit, Pêche de Vigne, Suze, lemon and grapefruit.

10. Cocktails around the country
Serious cocktails are cropping up in virtually every city in America. Occasionally, transplant bars will migrate from a major city to other parts of the country, such as Sam Ross and Michael McIlroy’s Attaboy in NYC — ranked number five on the World’s 50 Best Bars list — opening up in Nashville. Other times, such as at the W.C. Harlan bar in Baltimore, delicious drinks seem to appear out of nowhere, driven by the owners’ unique aesthetic and approach. One thing is for sure: Deciding how to rate the “World’s 50 Best” anything when it comes to bar culture will soon be a very difficult task.

 

These Are The 10 Cocktail Trends To Follow Right Now

America’s First Cannabis Cocktail Mixer Makes Its Splashy Debut

Article featured imageCourtesy of Le Herbe
Courtesy of Le Herbe

 

Batch #55 is just the first of many high-minded cocktail mixers that Le Herbe plans to release. The company’s product line already includes pot-infused tea, coffee and coconut water.

In a statement, Le Herbe CEO Marc LaRouche speaks of a bright future for cannabis cocktails in America: “Instead of creating cannabis clubs that allow smoking or vaping, we think it would be much easier to utilize the 650,000+ restaurants in the U.S. and just add cannabis beverages to the menu,” he says.

The suggested retail price will likely vary by location, due to disparate state tax rates as well as the cost of cannabis oil.